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Arunachal sits on hydel power projects

A parliamentary panel has said the prospects of harnessing 26,000MW out of 46,805 hydro power capacity in Arunachal Pradesh look quite bleak as no work has been taken up yet.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Guwahati
  • Published 19.03.18
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Guwahati: A parliamentary panel has said the prospects of harnessing 26,000MW out of 46,805 hydro power capacity in Arunachal Pradesh look quite bleak as no work has been taken up yet.

The standing committee on energy, in its report in the current session of Parliament, said it is concerned to note that there is 25,962MW capacity of hydel power in Arunachal which is yet to be taken up for any development and there is every possibility that the projects which are at various stages of work could take up to seven to eight years or even more to be operational.

"In this scenario, the future of about 26,000MW capacity which has not been taken up for development, looks very bleak," it said.

Of the total potential of 1,45,320MW hydel power assessed in the country, Arunachal alone has 46,805MW of hydro power capacity that is to be developed. In the state, where there is approval for 12,000MW capacity, only 2,705MW capacity is un-der development and a meagre 200MW is under operation.

It admits that the gestation period of hydro power projects is comparatively longer, owing to the elaborate process of survey, preparing detailed project and obtaining various clearance and difficulties faced during construction of the project itself, which are mostly in remote and uninhabitable areas.

It says in the long run, hydro power proves cheaper as flowing water is used for its operation, therefore, the sooner "we develop and start harnessing hydro power, the lesser will be the per unit cost".

On the argument that the biggest roadblock in the development of hydro power sector is obtaining of environmental clearances, it said it is of the firm view that certain sensitive areas in respect of environment and bio-diversity should not be touched. However, in rest of the areas there is a need to make the process of granting environmental clearances in a more expeditious and hassle-free manner.

It says there are various projects which have been accorded all the environmental clearances, even after which they are not being developed.

It has recommended to the government to make efforts on a priority basis to ensure the balance capacity of 25,962MW, which is yet to be developed, is developed at the earliest.

The committee has asked the government to ensure that the timeline for the projects is adhered to and the government should take pre-emptive prompt steps to resolve any issue which may crop up during their development.